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Kingsoft Free Antivirus Pro 2010 – Cloud Antivirus

Tuesday, 17 August 2010 12:21:18 (US Mountain Standard Time, UTC-07:00)

    Kingsoft is probably the most well known for its translation software.  The software has helped millions (probably billions) of students learn English. The company has just recently started to make anti malware products starting in 2008. Unfortunately,  some of the first iterations of the company’s security software had a lot of problems.  Detection and performance rates were well below competitors according to antivirus comparison websites tests.   However, it seems that in 2010, Kingsoft Free Antivirus has improved enormously.

    While the software is technically in beta, it really gives us a sneak peak at what is to come.  The first thing that surprised me upon starting the installation, is that Kingsoft Free Antivirus has now been awarded westcoast labs, icsa labs, and vb100 certifications.  This essentially means that the antivirus software’s detection rates have vastly improved over previous versions.  The next feature is that the whole antivirus is contained in a 16 megabyte download.  This is a feat that I have not seen yet accomplished by any free antivirus to date.  Usually, the software is bloated and not polished like the paid full versions.  Finally, when installing the software on Windows 7, it immediately recognizes the antivirus as certified and stops the Windows Security Notifications and warns about the virus definitions being out of date, if they have not been updated.

    The interface of Kingsoft Free Antivirus Pro is beautiful.  Large custom icons display the status of the antivirus engines and the scanning options quick, custom, and full are displayed right on the main page.   Starting a quick virus scan is a very intuitive process.  There is a large pointer that moves according to the virus scanner’s percent till completion.  There is also an estimated time till completion, the amount of files scanned per second, and time elapsed. 

    The virus scanner is extremely fast.  A full system scan completed in only 35 minutes and scanned an average of 200 files per second.  These speeds are the fastest I have seen yet.  The scanner also used limited resources and stayed under 10 percent CPU power and about 50 megabytes of ram for the duration of the scan. The quickscan utilizes a memory scan meaning that the first scan learns the locations of the files while the follow up scans complete in only a few seconds.  One thing that a user should do, is select the cloud security defense on the scanning page.  This will allow Kingsoft Free Antivirus Pro to utilize their cloud servers for even better detection rates.  Finally, I noticed little if any impact on system performance during a full system virus scan.

    Kingsoft Free Antivirus Pro also offers an enormous feature set.  The first feature is the do not disturb.  This activates when the computer enters full screen mode and could be also called gaming mode.  The antivirus will not alert the user.  The next feature is the screen saver scanner.  This is similar to free avast, in that when the screensaver is launched a virus scan will start.  However, Kingsoft Free Antivirus Pro offers the ability to embed the virus scanner into any screen saver that a user chooses.  There is also a comprehensive instant messenger virus protection system.  Kingsoft has even designed an embedded scanner that runs inside MSN to protect against viruses. Finally, Kingsoft Free Antivirus Pro includes a USB device protection which disables autorun on any usb flash drive or portable hard drive.